Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kickstarter Update

Great news!! Together we have reached the $1500 (minimum) goal set for my Kickstarter project. Thank you to the 49 backers who have pledged thus far. Enough money has now been raised to manufacture and release the disc in a beautiful, 4-panel "digipak", featuring the art of Deborah Dancy.

Reaching this goal on day 11 of the 21 day campaign is especially exciting.  I can breathe easier, knowing with certainty that the disc will be released.  

But on the flip side, there is much more work to be done.

I sure hope no one will be deterred from pre-ordering a disc or download because Kickstarter says we've reached 100% of our goal.  All money pledged from now until the end of the campaign will be used to promote the recording. Advertising is very expensive. Copies will be mailed to reviewers and radio stations, and (hopefully!) ads will also be purchased in DownBeat and JazzEd magazines, in an effort to expand my audience.

If you haven't done so already, please visit the link below and pre-order your copy today. Most of the itemized rewards will be issued before the Oct. 1 release date of "Mirror of the Mind".

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Bidwell Tavern

The Bidwell Tavern
The Bidwell Tavern in Coventry, CT is by far my favorite local watering hole and wing joint.  Their Buffalo chicken wings are second to none, and the atmosphere is cozy and relaxed, with a historic feel to it. Picture an old wood stove, brick walls, exposed, unfinished beams, planked floors, dimmed lights, etc.

Before we had kids, my wife and I probably visited "the Bidwell" at least once per week for beer, wings and people watching.  We made a fun game of looking around the room and guessing how the various customers made their living.

The Bidwell Tavern's chicken wings are second to none!
The Bidwell's chicken wings are even better
than the Anchor's in Buffalo, NY!
One memorable evening there was a noticeably wide array of people gathered at the bar, representing many different walks of life --- bikers, bagpipers, cross-dressers, professors (in tweed jackets with patched elbows) and even someone wearing a large, red and white striped Dr. Suess hat adorned with buttons.  This visit inspired the writing of "The Bidwell Cronies", a quirky little piece that functions as a theme song and set ender in concerts for C.O.W. (the Creative Opportunity Workshop), and to a lesser degree, my sextet.

Here is a newly created video for your listening & viewing pleasure:

"The Bidwell Cronies" will appear on my forthcoming CD, "Mirror of the Mind".  Until July 1st, I am pre-selling copies through Kickstarter.  As of today, 36 backers have pledged $1281 towards my $1500 minimum goal, through advanced purchases of the recording and other incentives (commissions, lessons, concert tickets, etc.)   This equates to 85%!  

I should clarify that $1500 is the bare minimum I need to manufacture and release the disc.  All pledged funds above and beyond my goal will be used to promote the recording.  Copies will be mailed to reviewers and radio stations, and hopefully, ads will also be purchased in magazines, in an effort to expand my audience.

Please visit the following link and pre-order your copy today.  Most of the itemized rewards will be issued before the Oct. 1 release date of "Mirror of the Mind".

Thanks for your support, and maybe I'll see you at the Bidwell Tavern.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Standard Setting

This month I have had several gigs playing at private parties and functions.  I quite enjoyed myself on these outings, despite not having pursued this type of work in recent years.  It got me thinking about how both the nature and frequency of my gigs has changed. During the '90s it wasn't uncommon for me to play at least three nights a week in hotels, bars and restaurants.  The material was always standards, which I will define as American Songbook repertoire mixed with pieces by celebrated jazz musicians.  I spent hours learning and memorizing tunes, daily.

During the past ten years or so, most of my performances have been concerts focusing on original music or arrangements by myself or the bandleader.  It's a completely different ballgame.

"Calling tunes" and revisiting the familiar, old jazz standards is a lot of fun.  Plus, the interaction within the band is typically elevated when no one is staring at a music stand and reading. On the last gig, I jotted down the song titles as I went along.  Here are the set lists:

Set #1:
Jazz Standards
  • Beatrice
  • It Could Happen To You
  • Star Eyes
  • Yesterdays
  • Cherokee
Set #2:
  • You Don't Know What Love Is
  • Stablemates
  • Rhythm-a-ning
  • How Deep Is The Ocean? 
  • Up Jumped Spring
Set #3:
  • My Foolish Heart
  • Pent Up House
  • Speak Low
  • Giant Steps
  • Dolphin Dance
  • Blue Monk

Maybe it's time that I try to achieve a better balance between the types of gigs I'm doing.  Finding a nice venue for a weekly jazz trio gig, to play tunes, is something I may be seeking for the fall.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Jazz MTV

Who says pop and country music artists are the only ones who can have music videos?! Move over Britney and Shania, there's a new game in town, and it's infinitely hipper.

Here's the NEW music video for my tune, "It Was Whispered".  This song will appear on my forthcoming CD, "Mirror of the Mind", which features Christopher Hoffman (cello), Kris Allen (saxophones), Rogerio Boccato (percussion) and me (piano).  Advanced copies of the recording can be pre-ordered through Kickstarter from now until July 1st.

Many of the pieces on the "Mirror of the Mind" album were written for cross-disciplinary, collaborative presentations with visual artists Deborah Dancy and Ted Efremoff. "It Was Whispered" appeared within the "Beneath the Black Earth" suite (which debuted in 2007). When the music is combined with the video, it still gives me the chills. It has a spooky "other world" quality to it.  To a degree, the music was inspired by Ornette Coleman. I thought a freer, somewhat less structured approach would compliment the jumbled mishmash of twigs in the photographs.

Although avante-garde/free improvisation doesn't intrinsically define our sound, it is one of the many musical facets explored within the Creative Opportunity Workshop (COW).

Please consider supporting this project and spreading the word.  Every bit helps.  Thanks!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

New CD
This week I launched a Kickstarter campaign. I'm pre-selling advanced copies of my new recording, "Mirror of the Mind" to pay for manufacturing and promotional costs. While you listen to the music on the link below, kindly consider spreading the word and supporting this latest project.

By writing specifically for an odd-ball instrumentation of cello, sax, piano and percussion, I think I’ve created something strikingly unique here. It may be my best disc yet!

The campaign lasts only until July 1st, so please order your CD, download, or one of the other incentives today!